Kakheti – The place to go in autumn
02 October, 2017
Kakheti – The place to go in autumn
Georgia has something interesting to offer to its visitors throughout the year. Each season has its own beauty and charm here, but autumn in Georgia is a special time for many reasons. The best place to travel in Georgia in autumn is Kakheti, the birthplace of wine and Georgia’s gorgeous region, considered the winemaking hub. It is a charming place that might remind of an Italian province due to its vast vineyards, full of history, beautiful sights and, of course,
delicious wine.

Officially Kakheti is a region formed in the 1990s in eastern Georgia from the historical province of Kakheti and the small mountainous province of Tusheti. Telavi is its capital. The region comprises eight administrative districts: Telavi, Gurjaani, Kvareli, Sagarejo, Dedoplistsqaro, Signagi, Lagodekhi and Akhmeta.

Kakheti is bordered by the Russian Federation to the northeast, Azerbaijan to the southeast, and the Georgian regions of Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Kvemo Kartli to the west.
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Photo courtesy Lasha Gabunia

Fall is the best time of the year to visit Kakheti. In Autumn Kakheti becomes incomparable tourist destination for several reasons , including Rtveli, the grape harvest.
Rtveli begins in autumn, by the end of September, and lasts for several weeks. So, if you want to feel as a part of Georgian traditions and culture, you should take part in this special process and after trying and simultaneously pleasant working day enjoy great Georgian food and wine. It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know local culture and people.
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Apart from attending rtveli, you can pay a visit to the most beautiful places of this marvelous region. As we have already mentioned, these sites become even more attractive and colorful in autumn when clad in golden and crimson colors.

Lopota Resort is one of the most beautiful sites of Kakheti. It is very popular with tourists from all over the world.
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Photo courtesy O. Tsiskarishvili

The Lopota Resort is a hotel complex, 100 km from the capital Tbilisi and 26 km from the city of Telavi.The resort boasts a beautiful lake surrounded by eight hotels.
Lopota Resort's adventure center offers its guests wine tours, cultural tours in Kakheti region and other entertainment facilities. This means you can share an adventure together, enjoy breathtaking views, breath fresh air and taste unique Kakhetian wines.

The place becomes more impressive in autumn, when the area is covered with yellow leaves. So if you visit Kakheti, consider visiting Lopota Resort as well.
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Photo courtesy Old Telavi

Shuamta forest

The monastery complex of Shuamta (meaning “a place between the mountains”) is hidden in the forest of Tbilisi-Telavi highway.

Shuamta forest is one of the most beautiful forests of Kakheti Region. You can enjoy its unique beauty any time of the year, but it is incomparably beautiful in Autumn when the forest is dyed in various colors and the area is covered in a colorful carpet of brown, orange and yellow leaves.

The path leadind to the church passes through this amazing forest. .

Kvareli Lake

In the heart of Kakheti and to the east of the small city Kvareli, beneath the southern slope of Great Caucasus Mountains the unique and beautiful Kvareli Lake Resort spreads over 300 hectares of beautiful natural landscape.

The forest surrounding the resort, the lake in front of it where the small rivers of Bursa and Chagurgula flow into, the vast Alazani Valley in the background and beautiful panoramic views make up Kvareli Lake Resort a unique place to spend your holidays.

There is no better place to enjoy your morning coffee and feel the power of the autumn’s sun than the terrace of Kvareli Lake Resort, located above the colorful hills and the Kvareli Lake, the pearl of Kakheti.
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Photo courtesy Lasha Gabunia

Gombori

Unique landscape and the best views are what Tsiv-Gombori Range offers to the travelers. For those who feel uncomfortable while traveling, there is the cold spring and the place for rest arranged in the middle of the road. Surely, it is the ideal place for picnicking and taking pictures as well.

The Tsiv-Gomborior Gombori is a mountain range in the Georgian section of Greater Caucasus Mountains. It stretches to the distance of 107 km, with the highest mountain being at 1.991 m above sea level.
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Photo courtesy Amo Kinkladze

The Gombori range serves as a watershed, separating the Alazani and Lori river valleys, thereby dividing Kakheti into two traditional regions: Inner (Shida) and Outer (Gare). Both northern and southern slopes are home to pine forests.

Zegaani

It is not widely known about this cozy and beautiful village and the ruins of the old monastery located near it.

Zegaani Monastery is located in Gurjaani district of Kakheti Region. It includes two churches from 5th century and 6-7th centuries. The main church has frescoes dating back to XVI-XVII centuries. The monastery has a beautiful garden which is especially attractive in the beginning of November (end of October) during autumn season.

The monastery complex is surrounded by an ancient forest that creates a mysterious atmosphere, especially when the forest is covered with thick fog.

So, if you are a lover of a little mystery, do not forget to visit this ancient and extremely beautiful place for the best autumn memories.

Apart from visiting beautiful places rich in autumn colors, you can become part of several delicious processes as well.

Rtveli along with churchkhela making activity is one of them. You will never see something similar to this anywhere. After the grapes are harvested, traditionally, people in Kakheti make traditional Georgian sausageshaped candy, churchkhela with grape juice and nuts This organic and soft sweet is made by repeatedly dipping a long string of walnuts in tatara – a mixture of flour, sugar and badagi (condenced fresh grape juice).
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Photo courtesy Amo Kinkladze

It is very delicious and beloved by locals and foreigners alike –The preparation process itself is very fun and enjoyable, so make chruchkhela by yourself if you happen to attend this ritual and, of course, do not forget to grab few of these appetizing and enegrzining candies as a present for your friends, they will love it.
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Churchkhela

Making Mtsvadi, Georgian barbeque, is yet another inseparable part of rtveli and autumn activities in Georgia. Mtsvadi making process is usually accompanied with drinking delicious Kakhetian wine. The meat is soft and juicy since it is made with fresh organic meat and sprinkled with few drops of Georgian wine when frying over the coal.
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Mtsvadi

You should sample Georgian mtsvadi with newly baked bread – shoti, which has an unforgettable taste and flavor. Almost every local has traditional round clay owen tone in the yard and bakes his/her own shoti bread. So you can try and bake shoti for yourself as well, but keep in mind the owen is extremely hot and sticking the dough to its walls requires a good skill.
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Shoti bread

If you want to experience all this above mentioned pleasures, visit Georgia’s pearl Kakheti in autumn and see everything with your own eyes.

Related stories:

The most interesting facts about Kakhetian wines

Kakheti among CNN’s 11 great wine regions you've probably never heard of


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